The United States WatchList
of Birds of Conservation Concern |
Prothonotary Warbler by Greg Lavaty
The United States WatchList, a joint project between American Bird Conservancy and the National Audubon Society, reflects a comprehensive analysis of all the bird species in the United States. It reveals those in greatest need of immediate conservation attention to survive a convergence of environmental challenges, including habitat loss, invasive species, and global warming. The list builds on the species assessments conducted for many years by Partners in Flight (PIF) on landbirds, using those same PIF standards, but expanded to cover species of all taxa. The list is based on the latest available research and assessments from the bird conservation community, along with data from the Christmas Bird Count and Breeding Bird Survey.
The WatchList 2007 identifies 210 species. It is divided into 55 continental and 38 Hawaiian "Red" species of highest national concern such as the Gunnison'sSage-Grouse, Piping Plover, Florida Scrub-Jay, Akikiki and Akekee), and 117 "Yellow" species that are still of conservation concern, but not to the extreme level of those on the Red List. The Yellow list is further ivided into "Declining" species (such as the Greater Sage-Grouse, King Rail, and Bay-breasted Warbler) that may currently be widespread and relatively abundant, but are facing significant threats and undergoing population declines, and "Rare" species (such as the Hudsonian Godwit, Yellow-billed Magpie, and Brown-capped Rosy-Finch), whose populations may be stable and not facing extreme threats, but which have small ranges and small population sizes.
Identifying and spotlighting the species at greatest risk is the first step in building the public policies, funding support, conservation initiatives and public commitment needed to save them. The WatchList lays the groundwork for an "industry standard" to guide conservation priorities among conservation organizations and government agencies.
Audubon and ABC will use materials, including state-focused fact sheets, to help mobilize concerned citizens to become involved in local, regional, and national activities that can make a difference for these imperiled birds - and for other wildlife and the habitat that sustains us all.
Criteria for inclusion in the WatchList